Five Russian missiles hit Kyiv as United Nations Secretary General António Guterres wrapped up his Thursday visit to the Ukrainian capital, President Volodymyr Zelensky said. The strike was an apparent show of force by the Kremlin toward the U.N. chief, who met with Zelensky and called the war “an absurdity in the 21st century.” Some normalcy had otherwise returned to Kyiv, where fighting has died down after Russian forces withdrew from its suburbs about a month ago.
Senior U.S. officials are laying the groundwork for a different global security order and a potential protracted conflict in Ukraine. Secretary of State Antony Blinken told U.S. lawmakers the world had changed dramatically since the Feb. 24 invasion and declared Washington’s support for Finland and Sweden’s NATO membership. President Biden the same day asked Congress for another $33 billion to assist Ukraine. American officials have said they want not only to help Ukraine survive but to weaken Russia.
Russian forces in eastern Ukraine are moving forward at a pace of just several kilometers a day and remain hampered by logistical challenges, the Pentagon said. Russian shelling continued in other parts of Donbas, which includes the Luhansk and Donetsk oblasts, where fighting has been “particularly fierce” around the cities of Lysychansk and Severodonetsk, according to Britain. Moscow has also shifted a significant number of troops from Mariupol to other combat zones, according to the Pentagon, though some Ukrainian forces are still holding out in the Black Sea port city despite weeks of bombardment.